Came to believe that a Power greater than myself could restore me to sanity.

 

“This new belief in a Higher Power is not the creation of any organized religion but instead is the Power that creates the  universe.  Our surrender and trust in it frees it to work its way in our lives. That is the paradox of the Twelve Steps – the more we depend on the Higher Power instead of our addictions, the freeer we in reality become.

This new belief will in time give us the power to think about risking life without having to be dead sure of what the next moment will bring. It appears that when we are depressed, we are so sure that since everything in the past has been bad so should everything be in the future. You just expect everything to turn ut badly. So, the tomorrows never look very good to us. We need therefore to live in the now and it is when we surrender to the Higher Power that we finally begin to feel a safety we never felt before.”

SOURCE:   Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2017) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pg. 43.

Comment:  This is the Second Step of the Twelve Steps, the  spiritual principles that guide the lives of those  of  us who are in recovery. The Steps are the guides that   promote our personal peace and hope.  They are like a ladder that lead us  to   a higher level of living,  while at the same time leading  us to others just like ourselves.

I know that for some who come into our program of recovery feel a bit squeamish about turning their lives over to some Higher Power.  In Step Three, the Higher Power is defined as the God of our understanding–who we understand God to be. No matter what one’s religious beliefs might be or not be, we have this Power who we can turn to and to whom we can surrender our daily lives.  We just know that we can’t defeat our problem alone but need the  help of God, a Higher Power.  The Depressed Anonymous fellowship is there to help us in our journey out of our depression.  Their own lives and healing is in itself a power which can inspires us to continue on our journey as we work through the Steps and continue to hope. And by listening to the stories of others who are on the same path as our own and finding healing in their stories,   we  can tell ourselves that there must “be hope for me as well.”

An excellent work titled A MEDLEY OF DEPRESSION STORIES, by Debra Sanford, published in 2017, ( ISBN 978-1974499601)  will provide a wealth of hope for you as you accompany them in their personal stories out of the darkness of their own depression. They show us how the God of their understanding and the fellowship of DA all come together to give them back their lives of hope and happiness.

Also, you can read  inspirational stories of recovery in Depressed Anonymous, in the Personal Stories section of the book.  Both books would be great gifts to those of your family or friends who are looking for help.

Hugh

I’m ready for the good things now !

 

I’m slowly finding out the my life is not as horrible  as I’ve made it out to be. I used to tell myself that since it happened before, it will happen again – and that simply is not true. Yes, my  past was horrible and it’s no wonder I ended up with depression. I want out of it and the only person to get me out is me. There is not a magic wand to transport you to the life you want. Everyone knows what they wish their life could be like – so do it!  Make the changes you have to make, trust in God and always remember that good things come to those who wait. I’ve waited over half my life. I don’t have to be a victim of my past or my mind anymore. I’m more than ready for the good things! With love and hope!

SOURCE:    A member of the Depressed Anonymous fellowship. You can find more of her story in the PERSONAL STORIES section of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville. Pages 120-121.

NOTE: For more literature resources please VISIT THE STORE at our site WWW. DEPRESSEDANON .COM.

Making “gratitude my attitude” helps keep Robin out of depression.

 

A personal story/ testimony from Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition by Robin.

“Through the Depressed Anonymous program, which utilizes the Twelve Steps, I have been on a  journey of transformation from the familiar life of drudgery and gloom and desperation to discovering a new freedom and a new happiness – something I didn’t know existed. My entire perspective is changing.  Other people who I once thought were   judgmental  are now considered as all being a child of God–all created equal. What a peace provocative tool this is. Really! It helps me lift those negative attitudes and replaces them with affirmations. This is certainly the most  valuable technique offered in Depressed Anonymous to acquire an optimistic attitude towards life itself, or simply “making gratitude my attitude.” So many of us were only familiar with the sham and the drudgery of life, but even with all the sham and drudgery in the word,  it is still a beautiful place to live.  We learn to change not the world, but how we view the world and all its intricacies.”

Copyright(c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

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It is truly a remarkable fact, that  by going to one meeting you may hear someone  share  their own personal story and you think they are talking about you. It is amazing how this works, but not really.  What happens  is that all of us who come to the Depressed Anonymous meeting for the first  time, find that members of this mutual aid group speak the same language … hope and support. It does take one to know one, which is true. I guess the point here is that if we all feel pretty much the same thing when we are depressed, even though my depression experience is unique to me and how it effects my life, that this awareness is a great thing as it helps to produce those many strategies for recovery which can be applied across the board for most of  us in the group. The Twelve Steps are  strategies that in time and  work can   give us a  fresh and healing perspective for  our individual lives.  To read more about the recovery experience   of  others who have used tjourney of transformation

he Twelve StepsVISIT THE STORE and continue to find other literature which can   provide you with hope  plus  a way out of your depression.

Hugh

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The latest offer by the PUBLISHER is the KINDLE edition of Higher Thoughts for Down Days: 365 daily Thoughts and Meditations for Twelve Step individuals. Take a Higher  Thought with you were ever you go!

” For the first time in 14 years I have hope…”

”  I had always known that  I was hard on myself. I reamed myself every time something bad happened. “Why can’t I find someone to love me?” “Why isn’t God looking after me?”   But for some reason, when I realized that I was doing this to myself, it made me realize that maybe all that I  would have to do is to stop doing it.   All of a sudden it made sense.

If I tell myself negative thoughts, I feel negative. If I tell myself nothing, I feel nothing.  So if I tell myself positive thoughts, eventually I’ll have to feel positive.

Of course I’m still testing it out, but I feel better and for the first time in 14  years I have hope, It’s not that hard to find something positive about myself or my life now. So I remind  myself of something positive every day and that’s what I am going to do until I don’t have to remind myself anymore because I’ll know.”

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To read more by this member of Depressed Anonymous see #9, A VICTIM IN MY OWN MIND in the Personal Stories contained in Depressed Anonymous, pages 120-121.

Also, it’s good to remember as pointed out in the 1st Statement of Belief in Believing is Seeing,  that “I accept and believe that however  hopeless everything appears right now, I will make a decision to recover from depression.  I am not helpless.  I will make a choice  to get better.”

SOURCES: (c) Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. (2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

 (c)Believing is seeing: 15  ways to leave the prison of depression. (2014) Depressed Anonymous Publications.

Louisville.

Information for additional literature on Depression and the 12 Steps of recovery is available at   VISIT THE STORE. (See Menu)

AUTOBIOGRAPHY IN FIVE SHORT CHAPTERS

1)  I walk down the street..

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I fall in.

I am lost…I am hopeless.

It isn’t my fault.

It takes forever for me to find a way out.

2) I walk down the  same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I pretend that I don’t see it.

I fall in  again.

I can’t believe I am in the same place.

But  it isn’t my fault.

It still takes a long time to get out.

3) I walk down the same street.

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I saw it there.

I still fall in.. it’s a habit.

My eyes are open.

I know where I am.

It is my fault. I get out immediately.

4) I walk down  the same street

There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.

I walk around it.

5) I walk down another street.

Copyright(c)  Portia Nelson 1981.

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COMMENT

Definition of insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Tapering off of booze, smoking, overeating etc., negative thinking, suicidal thinking, I hoped  it would finally  help me end my strong attachment/addiction to any one of  these life threatening behaviors. Wrong. I kept  going down the same street and falling  in the same hole. The Twelve Steps is what gave me the courage to go around the hole and begin to  travel down a different road. The road I followed and still follow after 30 years is the great fellowship of Depressed Anonymous. You can read the stories of those who started walking down that  “other street” —  that broad highway of recovery that we call Depressed Anonymous.

Read their personal stories in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Share your story and save your life.

Last night at a Depressed Anonymous meeting, a member shared how she felt that our members do a great service to those still depressed by sharing their story of recovery from depression. It was then  pointed out that Ralph, a member of Depressed Anonymous for 23 years now, had his own story of recovery published in the first edition of Depressed Anonymous(1998). The title of his story appeared under the title Depressed Anonymous is Ralph’s Guardian Angel. The story is a real tribute to that person’s faith  who  to this day continues to use  the Twelve Steps as a way to  stay out of depression. His story and  the many others in the Depressed Anonymous book, now in its  3rd edition, continue to inspire us and give us hope. We too  can have the same experience as Ralph. In fact, it was suggested at the meeting last night  that Ralph write and give an account for how his life has been  since the time that he penned that account (1992) of his own personal recovery from depression.

In Ralph’s personal account t of his recovery experience he tells us ” that the group has been my guardian angel who was speaking to me all the time. I learned that there was hope for me after all.  There is a new rebirth in me spiritually, emotionally and physically. I believe that I can go on with my life without all the fears that I bottled up inside  me.  As long as I have faith in my Higher Power and the Depressed Anonymous group, there will be no mountain that I cannot climb. I am forever grateful.”

(Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  Personal Stories section. Story #7 on pages 117-118.)

I might add that Ralph has been the staying force  in our community for facilitating a  Depressed Anonymous meeting, ensuring that the group has a place to meet,  and just keeping the door open for anyone who wants to find hope and fellowship which is the kind of hope that Ralph found when he entered that door of the fellowship for the first time. (I remember well. I was there./ Editor)

I can tell you that it is in the telling of the story that gives us hope–always. That is why at our Twelve Step meetings we have speakers who share their story of recovery for those not acquainted with the hope, healing and serenity that our recovery  journey provides, one  day at a time. Also, by having so many personal stories in our manual we know how important it is to show that what we believe  actually works. The  ” proof is in the pudding” as the old saying goes. At the beginning of every meeting, the  leader for that meeting shares with the group the way their life was before they found and put the power of the Twelve Steps into their lives, and now, how their life is today.

The more we come together and share our stories, that is our struggles with depression, the more we find the solutions just as did Ralph who found the Depressed Anonymous fellowship to serve as his guardian angel. And from the meeting last night I see that Ralph’s guardian angel is still very much on the job. I am grateful.

Sources:  Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition.(2011) Depressed Anonymous Publications.  Louisville.

Believing is seeing:15 ways to leave the prison of depression. (2015) Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

IF MY LIFE IS JOYFUL, THEN WHY DO I CONTINUE TO GO TO DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS MEETINGS?

Today, as promised yesterday (7/22) in our BLOG, we shared how Lois declared that she  “no longer experiences those black, bleak, hopeless periods”. She says that “her life is joyful.”

If her life is so joyful  Lois needs to explain why she continues to go to Depressed Anonymous meetings five years later. The Twelfth Step of this program: “Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry the message to the depressed, and to practice these principles in all of our affairs.”  ” I am so grateful to Depressed Anonymous that I want it to be there for those who are still suffering.”

See pages 110-111 for a full account of Lois’ testimony in THE PERSONAL STORIES section of Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.

Also read the remaining thirty stories of the other members of Depressed Anonymous who found serenity and joy using the Twelve Step program of recovery.

Like Lois, there are many of us who today continue to carry the message of hope to those still suffering from depression. Like myself, they all want to share with others that there is hope — there is a day coming that a light may shine and give them a way out of the darkness of their depression. This website and BLOG is just one way that I am taking the message of HOPE to others. Just yesterday a Depressed Anonymous group leader tells of how she is sharing her story OF HOPE to a man who intends to take his life, Another man in the group who worked his way out of despair using the Twelve Steps of recovery is also sharing his own story of despair and hopelessness with the man. That is what Lois is doing–bringing hope to others even though her whole life took a dramatic change.  Even though she is no longer imprisoned in depression she still sees it her mission to continue telling people her story. I told my story tonight at one of our local Depressed Anonymous meetings. At each meeting that I attend,  gradually, as Lois puts it, I  unscramble a part of the mess that brought me to my knees in the first place.

MAKEOVER TIME: THE NEW ME.

Helen’s before and after–

“Now that I look back and see the way I was and see how I am now, I can’t believe that I ever knew that other person. This person is different altogether. I like the person now very much.  I am so thankful to the group. They are just wonderful. They are my family. They are my Depressed Anonymous family.  I also have my church family. It is a wonderful feeling to know that there is a Higher Power that can help you through these things.  At first, I thought: “I doubt that very much” when everyone is talking about the Higher Power and peace in my life.  Then it happened to me. Every few days, the world dumps down on you and beats you down. That’s just life. I always think to myself that there is that extra strength that I didn’t have before. I feel that everything is going to be OK with me. I have that peace now myself.”

Read all of Helen’s story in the Personal Stories in Depressed Anonymous, 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville.  Page 148.

DRINKING AND DEPRESSION DON’T MIX!

The following account is to be found in the PERSONAL STORIES section of DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS, 3rd Edition (2011). Pages 124-125. DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS PUBLICATIONS. Louisville, KY.

It wasn’t until 1993 that I joined Alcoholics Anonymous and got into therapy, which has been amazingly helpful. I’m growing and dealing with the death of my Mother and with alcohol. My hobbies, like gardening and my writing give me joy and are therapeutic.  I’ve been working the Twelve Steps with an open mind that every day things will get better. If a problem does occur the Higher Power will give me the answer and the strength to deal with it, and not to run away or shut it away like before.

Depression is something that’s so overwhelming. For me, it’s like crawling from beneath the earth and facing the light with fear that no one would understand how I feel. When in depression, isolation would follow as my only friend, but actually, it was my own worst enemy. I should have been opening up to someone. Instead I shut myself off from the world.

Through therapy, a belief in my self, and encouragement, facing each day doesn’t seem  as difficult.

Working my Twelve Steps of DEPRESSED ANONYMOUS and reading  HIGHER THOUGHTS FOR DOWN DAYS gives me reassurance that we are not alone. I now appreciate what I do have when I work through the program.

Through prayer and appreciation, I realize that there’s more to life than alcohol and that I kissed a chunk of my life away because of it.

Now I’m gaining much more through life than ever. Being sober, I see my life as a gift and not as a heavy burden.

by Rheatha

“I HAD ALREADY USED UP ALL THE HIDING PLACES IN MY LIFE”

” You don’t get better overnight, but you do get much better. I was as down in the muck as far as I could go. I had to go and open the door for the first time because there was no other place to go. I had already used up all the hiding places in my life. I still have many problems like anyone else, but when I need sleep very badly, I turn the problem over to my Higher  Power and go to sleep.  I can always pick up the next morning. Somehow it all gets done. Nothing so bad has happened to me. I have trouble trying to figure out what I am exactly supposed to do. I am sure God points me in the right direction. Sometimes, I miss the message but it will come to me eventually what God wants for me.  All you have to do is reach out and get it. But my faith is stronger now in God than it has ever been in my life because I need that companion in  my life. It is there for all of us if we just reach out and take it.” (P. 147/Personal Stories)

SOURCE: Depressed Anonymous. 3rd edition. Depressed Anonymous Publications. Louisville, Ky  40217.